Samantha (Sami) Zimmerman

Sami Zimmerman '19



Degree and Class Year

BA ’19


Cross Plains, Wisconsin




Garden Collective, Herbarium, Resident Advisor

Overseas study


What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Supportive, Adventurous, Home

What has been your favorite class so far? How did it expand your knowledge?

Spanish 321: Introduction to Literary Studies with Associate Professor Freddy Vilches. Freddy’s passion for the material we were reading in class was infectious and by the end of the term you suddenly realize that you went through a complex history/literature course completely taught in Spanish, which was really empowering.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I was really interested in Lewis & Clark’s overseas programs and their biology department. With all the resources surrounding us in Oregon, biology classes can be much more hands-on. I also really liked the idea of a small school and being able to easily connect with faculty and resources around campus.

Who are your role models on campus?

My first advisor and Spanish professor, Cecilia Benanati, is still one my favorite people to go to on campus, whether it’s for advice, Spanish help, chisme, or just to say hello! I also really look up to the entire biology faculty and enjoy going to their office hours to talk about their journeys and insights.

How did you choose your major?

I always knew I was interested in the sciences; however it wasn’t until I watched a documentary about Sylvia Earle and had a friend tell me, “Hey, you know you could totally do that if you wanted to, right?” that I seriously considered switching from Hispanic studies to biology. I emailed one of our marine biology professors and set up a meeting with him the next day to talk about the major, so I guess you could say I was convinced!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

The food! I love spending weekends biking around the city and trying different food carts and restaurants.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

College is going to be difficult at first, but it gets better! Be open to new and scary experiences that make you feel uncomfortable because that’s when you’re going to grow the most.

How has Lewis & Clark changed you?

Lewis & Clark has helped me view my own path more as an adventure, rather than a structured series of events, both in academics and life in general.